Tim O’Shea founded Blurtit in 2006 following running an affiliate marketing company since 2002. Tim is married with three children and is keen kitesurfer and skier. You can follow him @timothyoshea
Mike: Can you give a little background on your business?
Tim: Blurtit was founded in July 2006 and we’ve come a long way since then. We run the site with a team of 7 staff plus a similar number of moderators.
Mike: The domain name, BlurtIt.com has pretty obvious meaning. Were there other names you were considering?
Tim: At the time we looked at many keyword based names such as question.com questions.com but they were not within budget. Many of these domains have since jumped on the Q&A bandwagon. When we found Blurtit, it seemed to make sense, Blurtit was brandable and pretty unique whilst having a “Blurt It” match for answers.
Mike: What’s one of the strangest questions/answers you have seen on the site?
Tim: Why Is A Cookie A Cookie?
The first cookies were created by accident..cooks used a small amount of cake batter to test the oven temp. Before baking a large cake. They were called “koekje” Meaning “Little
cake” in Dutch.
Mike: Do you need to monitor or censor any of the information posted?
Tim: Yes, we have a team of moderators to monitor and remove content that is against our terms of service (abusive, hateful, racist etc). We hope to get our community to continue to help us remove content against our terms of service.
Mike: Can you share the volume of traffic that your site receives?
Tim: In October 2010 Blurtit received 13.5 million unique visitors.
Mike: Do you have any other online marketing strategies that you follow?
Tim: SEO is big for us as our community generates so much content. We also used PPC to get the site going in 2006/2007. Moving forward our focus is on product, we believe if we continually improve the product our marketing will follow along.
Mike: Did you purchase the name from someone else that owned it? If so, what was the process you went through? Will you share what you paid for the name?
Tim: We bought the domain through Sedo and I can’t remember the exact figure but it was less than $10,000.
Mike: Any advice for start ups, small business, or business of any size for that matter on choosing the right domain name?
Tim: Pick something that is memorable and brandable which isn’t already trademarked. Don’t worry about getting the keyword domains for your industry (eg Google.com vs Search.com) but think carefully about whether a .com or a localised ending such is more suitable. I suggest .com’s for international internet based businesses and local domains (such as .co.uk) for country specific e-commerce or local business.
Mike: Do you think you would be willing to sell your domain at any point? Have you ever received any unsolicited offers?
Tim: The site really is much more than the domain now. We’d be keen to look at working with a larger internet company to maximize Blurtit full potential and we’ve had a few discussions around this.